Sprucing Up the Nest Becomes Trendy

June 19, 2020

Homeowners quickly began making repairs and swapping outdated fixtures as they started to shelter in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot reported a surge in earnings as the pandemic began.

And the trend is sticking around. Homeowners are requesting personal loans for home improvement above rates prior to the pandemic, a new study from LendingTree shows. Requests for home improvement personal loans rose by 7.8% in the first week of June compared to a year prior. About one-third of those applicants said the pandemic influenced their decision.

Home remodels appear to be split between emergency home repairs or appliance replacements (which prompted 25% of owners to update) and remodeling or upgrading homes (27%), according to the LendingTree survey, based on responses from about 1,200 consumers.

Kitchen improvements and bathroom upgrades were the two most popular projects among consumers who took out a loan to fund a home improvement update, the survey shows. About 41% hired outside help for the repair or house project, while 27% said they did the project themselves. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they enjoy their home more since the improvement, and 28% of respondents hope the project will add value to their home when they’re ready to sell, the survey shows.

Among owners who used a personal loan for home repairs, the most commonly repairs were the porch, deck, walls, windows, or flooring. Further, nearly one-third of approved applicants reported needing the funds to repair the roof.